Pakistan. In an already very tense situation between Pakistan and neighboring India, the Pakistani ambassador from New Delhi was expelled in February, after the Indian government accused him of transferring money to Kashmiri guerrillas. According to Countryaah.com, Pakistan Independence Day is August 14. Pakistan responded by expelling India’s envoy in Islamabad.
At the same time, the race between the two rivals continued. Two new medium-range robots with the possibility of carrying nuclear charges, Ghauri and Shahin-1, were formally put into operation by the Pakistani defense during the winter. In March, Pakistan and India simultaneously tested new short-range nuclear weapons that can be fitted with nuclear weapons. In the spring and summer, however, more conciliatory noises were heard from both governments. New ambassadors were appointed, the bus service between Delhi and the Pakistani capital Lahore was re-established in July and Indian MPs visited Islamabad in August.
In November, Pakistan announced unilateral ceasefire along the unofficial border, the so-called control line, through Kashmir and India responded positively. The almost daily frontier artillery duels went silent for the first time in several years. However, no political dialogue came about because Pakistan, according to Indian conjecture, did not prevent the infiltration of guerrillas over the control line.
In the autumn, the army attacked suspected members of the al-Qaeda terror network following unrest at the Afghan border. In July, an explosive attack against a Shiite Muslim mosque in Quetta had claimed 53 fatalities. The government also seized hundreds of members of Islamic extremist movements, closed party offices and banned a number of organizations, many of which were previously declared illegal but resurfaced under new names. The intervention took place following pressure from both the United States and India where doubts were raised about Pakistan’s sincere interest in fighting terrorism.
The strike against the extremists may have been a reason for President Pervez Musharraf being subjected to two assassination attempts in December. Both times he escaped unharmed, but in the second attack at least 15 people who were close to him were killed, including two suicide bombers.
Domestic politics was dominated this year by a crippling conflict between the government and the major opposition parties over the constitutional changes that President Musharraf unanimously pushed for the transition to civilian rule in 2002. The fundamental changes strengthened the president’s power and strengthened the military’s influence over politics.
For a long time, Parliament’s work was down. At the end of December, however, the president had the constitutional amendments approved by the parliament after the Islamist parties joined him. Musharraf’s only remission was that at the end of 2004 he should resign from the post of commander-in-chief. Thus, the close connection between the military leadership and the conservative Islamic groups that prevailed since the late 1970s was strengthened.
Pakistan remains a victim of the US drone war. Every year, an unknown number of thousands of civilians are killed by superpowers drones.
The military operation Zarb-e-Azb which started in June 2014 and targeted militant groups in North Waziristan and in the Khyber region continued through 2016. The military committed abuses and they met with abuse from the militant groups. In January 2016, Pakistani Taliban Bacha Khan attacked the University of Charsadda in northwestern Pakistan. Thirty people, mostly students and teachers, were killed. In March, a bus carrying public servants in Peshawar was attacked with a bomb. 15 were killed and many injured. In August, a suicide bomber killed at least 63 – most lawyers – at a Quetta hospital. More than 50 were injured. The many lawyers were gathered to follow the corpse of Bilal Anwar Kasi, the chairman of the Baluchistan Advocacy Council, who had been killed earlier in the day.
In August, the government passed a new cyber crime law: the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act. The law gave the authorities extensive opportunities for monitoring and censorship of printed and electronic media.
At the end of September 2016, tension between Pakistan and India intensified. The two parties both broke the ceasefire from 2003 and blamed each other across the border in Kashmir. Both parties accused the counterpart of human rights violations of the UN Human Rights Council.
The execution of death sentences continued through 2016. Since the stop had been lifted in December 2014, 400 death sentences had been executed.
The government had a change in the law of honor killings to remove the impunity for these types of crimes. But the government allowed the death penalty for these types of crimes, and at the same time made it possible to reduce the penalty if the perpetrators were able to gain understanding and recognition from the victim’s family. However, it was still unclear how the authorities would distinguish between honor killings and other types of killings, what evidence requirements were made and what the penal code would be. Human rights organizations criticized that the punishment could be made dependent on any understanding by the victim’s family. The National Human Rights Commission committed 512 honor killings on women and girls and 156 on men and boys in 2016.